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Adult with emphasis in Geropsychology
The resident completing the clinical neuropsychology residency with an emphasis in g​eropsychology will have Bill Ruwe, Ph.D. and Gina Bien, Ph.D. serve as their primary supervisors. However, they will also work with the VA Geropsychologists, Kristen Sorocco, Ph.D., and Patrick Mason, Ph.D. on the Community Living Center (CLC) and Home Based Primary Care (HBPC) rotations. Additionally, they will complete two, six (6) week rotations at OUHSC in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. 

Neuropsychology services during this residency experience will include a mixture of outpatient and inpatient evaluations, though it is likely that the resident will conduct more inpatient evaluations than the resident in the general adult track. Likewise, cases seen by the resident at the VA on this rotation will be primarily with older adults. Cases seen at OUHSC may be with younger adults, adolescents, and children in order to provide additional training outside of the geriatric emphasis area.

One of the primary opportunities for this resident during the two-year residency, is the opportunity to gain additional experience and emphasis in meeting the mental health needs of older adults. In order to accomplish this goal, the resident will spend time on the CLC, a 23-bed unit that fits between a nursing home and an intensive rehabilitation program along the continuum of care. Typically, veterans in the CLC have recently lost some physical, occupational, or cognitive functioning and are expected to be capable of significant recovery to avoid placement in a nursing home. The resident participates in an interdisciplinary team setting designed to assist the veteran in recovery to as independent a lifestyle as possible. The unit’s emphasis is on meeting those needs with older adults who have physical problems threatening their level of independent functioning.

The rotation also offers training and experience on an 8-bed Palliative Care Unit (PCU).  Outpatient training and experience is offered through a Home-Based Primary Care Program as well as a home telemental health program.

The rotation offers the following activities:  

  • Assessments (neuropsychological bed-side screenings, MSE's, psychosocial evaluations, some formal testing).
  • Individual therapy (brief Cognitive Behavior Therapy, problem solving, adjustment to illness, change in lifestyle, behavior modification, pain management, relaxation training, etc.)
  • Group psychotherapy (cognitive rehabilitation, stress management, problem solving, etc.)
  • Home visits (Home-Based Primary Care Program)
  • Home telemental health services
  • Readings in geriatrics (with the psychology supervisor and the Geriatric Journal Club)

Referrals for evaluation, including both outpatient and inpatient requests for services, are generated by providers throughout the hospital, with the most frequent requests coming from ambulatory mental health care (both psychology and psychiatry), neurology, primary care, medicine, inpatient psychiatry, and neurosurgery. The clinic completes assessments on patients with brain injuries, suspected dementia, and a number of other CNS pathologies affecting neurocognitive functioning.

Residents can expect to be involved in completing the clinical and collateral interviews, test administration and scoring, integrative report writing, consultation, patient feedback, treatment planning, and brief supportive therapy involving adjustment to disability and/or cognitive rehabilitation.